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The Chesed Project That Grew

by Karen Reiffman

0 Comments | Sunday, December 02, 2018 under Volunteering, Bar Mitzvah Project

A Family Lights up the World for Needy Children  

It started as a bat mitzvah chesed project. Twelve years ago around Chanukah time, the T. family was getting ready to celebrate their daughter's special simcha. In addition to the regular planning of location, food and guest-list details, they also wanted to find a unique project to take on for the occasion. They wanted to do something that would help others. A short time beforehand, the T.s had learned about Yad Eliezer and its programs which assist so many people in so many ways, and they decided that helping through Yad Eliezer was the way to go.

But what to choose for Chanukah?

With the bat mitzvah falling out during Chanukah, the T.s knew that it would be exciting for kids in need to receive a fun gift for the holiday. But what should it be? After careful thought, they realized-what item could be more appropriate for gift giving this time of year, than Chanukah gelt? And so it began. The T.s collected donations and changed the money to sparkling 5 shekel coins, which they split into gift bags-five coins per bag. Hundreds of bags were assembled! They then enlisted the help of Yad Eliezer. Our network of community representatives throughout the country, who are acquainted with families in need and know their situations, helped coordinate distribution of the bags to families from the north to the south. The small packages brought huge excitement to hundreds of children. For many, it was their one gift.

A one-time project becomes tradition

That bat mitzvah project turned into a yearly tradition, which continues to this day. This Chanukahfour hundred bags of 25 shekels are being sent around the country. Some are going to social workers in the south, who will distribute them to children in need, suffering from trauma due to the security situation. Others will go to girls from broken homes, who live in school dormitories. Still others are going to child victims of terror from needy families.

For over a decade (the bat mitzvah girl is now 24 years old!) this incredible chesed project has brought Chanukah happiness and light to thousands of kids. 
Leave it to our donors to come up with the most thoughtful, creative and long-lasting ways to help people in need. 



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